[by Jay Kinghorn]
The Copyright & The New Economy symposium held on April 21st was, for me, an eye-opening event. As the moderator for Copyright and the New Economy, I did a lot of research leading up to the event. A common thread that ran through the research, the morning presenters and the afternoon panel discussion point to a publishing landscape for photographers that is radically different than today. This landscape, while challenging, holds tremendous promise for photographers willing to proactively seek out new opportunities and new ways of serving clients.
I’ve spent a good deal of time mulling over and replaying the kernels of information presented through the symposium, and here are a few lessons I’ve taken from the event.
- Be an explorer: Photographer Chase Jarvis seems to embody many of the traits I think will be essential for thriving in this new landscape. He’s willing to take risks and experiment in the services he delivers to clients and doesn’t tie himself to traditional notions of what a photographer should be if those notions aren’t serving him well today.
- Be a publisher: Brian Storm, of MediaStorm.org, clearly articulated his vision for the future of photojournalism-multimedia presentations that educate, raise awareness and generate profit for those sites willing to publish MediaStorm’s hard-hitting productions. Rather than looking at yourself as just a contributor to larger projects, consider expanding your vision to the big picture and “do it all.”
- Be your own advocate: Victor Perlman, ASMP’s General Council, traced the history of image licensing, describing photographers’ current situation as a convergence of several events. One primary cause is photographers abdicating licensing negotiations to stock agencies. Once photographers stopped controlling pricing negotiations, the market was ripe for commodification.
We live in a time of tremendous upheaval. Traditional industries are quickly collapsing and new ones are emerging. More content is being consumed than ever before. Though very few of us have a recipe for success in this new market, one thing is for sure, success is often based on one’s ability to adapt and as the ancient saying goes, fortune favors the bold!
Jay Kinghorn is a workflow trainer and consultant. His company, Kinghorn Visual helps companies use photos and video for marketing and outreach purposes.
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